Psychology PhD, Behavioral Neuroscience Emphasis

The Behavioral Neuroscience program provides opportunities for study, research, and training in various areas including psychophysiology, psychopharmacology, neuroendocrinology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychology. This program prepares students for research careers in academia or industries, such as pharmaceutical firms and medical schools. Full-time enrollment is required.

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements of the Graduate School, applicants should have completed undergraduate courses at minimum in general psychology, psychological statistics, and research methods. Each doctoral program has additional admission requirements specific to that program.

The Application Deadline for the Behavioral Neuroscience Program is January 15.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Stipends for teaching and research assistantships are available for the doctoral programs only.

Learning Outcomes for the Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience

The graduate program in Behavioral Neuroscience has the following goals. Outcome measures for each goal allow the faculty to assess the students.

Goal 1. Students will gain a broad-based foundation of terminology and basic and conceptual knowledge necessary for teaching and research in the Behavioral Neuroscience field. Outcome measures include grades in coursework, performance on both the written and oral segments of the qualifying exam, as well as active participation in our journal reading groups.

Goal 2. Beginning early in their studies, students will learn the basic skills to conduct research in a variety of different paradigms. Outcome measures include successful accomplishments in the laboratories of mentor professors.

Goal 3. Beginning early in their studies, students will come to recognize the key to success in the Behavioral Neuroscience field is publishing and seeking grant support. Outcome measures include an easily observable mindset that assesses all scholarly activities in regard to possible publication and/ or a suitable idea for submission to a grant agency. Also, regular attendance is expected at all relevant colloquia on campus and at the grant writing seminars offered by the Behavioral Neuroscience faculty.

Goal 4. Students will come to recognize the importance of writing and will be constantly developing their writing skills as applied to manuscript preparations and grant applications. Outcome measures are the numbers of manuscripts written and submitted to journals or grant agencies each year.

Goal 5. As they progress through the program, students will show increasing self-reliance to initiate a research project and carry it to its completion. Outcome measures are numbers and quality of self-initiated research projects.

Goal 6. At the end of their graduate studies, the students will have grown into full colleagues of the faculty and be ready for careers in research and teaching. Outcome measures are a quality dissertation that is successfully defended before peers and being hired for a suitable position (post-doc, assistant professor, junior-level researcher) in the field.